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If you’re looking for a review of LinkedIn Learning, you’ve come to the right place.
As a professional, you should always be looking to learn new skills. After all, the more you know, the better you’ll stand out from the competition – in a job search, when competing for a promotion or raise, etc.
Until recently, though, gaining new skills was hard.
You had two options – go to a university, which can be extremely expensive and time-consuming, or read books, which are not always practical enough.
Fortunately, now that online courses are commonplace, it’s significantly easier to pick up the right know-how.
One of the best places for this is LinkedIn Learning, a platform started by LinkedIn in partnership with the e-learning platform Lynda.
We wrote this in-depth review of LinkedIn Learning to give you a better idea of how you can use the platform to boost your job search and your career.
Chances are, you’ve already heard of LinkedIn. You probably have a profile already too.
Recently, LinkedIn decided to focus more on education. They acquired the online education platform Lynda and started offering professional courses through LinkedIn Learning.
Whatever your occupation is, chances are, there’s something you could get out of LinkedIn Learning.
Once you’ve registered on the platform, you start off by picking general skills that interest you.
Then, the platform gives you recommendations on specific courses based on your interests.
There are also several other ways to discover courses…
If you already have a good idea of what you’d like to learn, there’s also an option for that. You could, for example, pick Excel and get hundreds of different courses on the topic.
What really sets LinkedIn Learning apart from other online education websites is its direction.
Coursera, for example, is more about education in general. LI Learning specifically focuses on professional development.
Because of this, they offer 3 different ways to learn…
By Subject – If you want to gain experience with a specific skill, this is the way to go. You can pick a topic (If we’re talking business, that would be HR, finance, etc.) and pick courses based on that.
Software – Today, whatever your occupation is, there’s a solid chance that you need to know your way around several types of software.
Learning Paths – This is what really makes LI Learning shine. If you’re looking to transition into a new field, there are Learning Paths to help you do that.
Instead of having to look for random courses in a given field, you can simply pick your path and get a structured learning experience. If you want to learn Digital Marketing, for example, the Learning Path offers you courses in the following:
While completing the learning path won’t instantly make you an expert, it’ll give you the essential knowledge you need to start the career.
Now, you’re probably wondering, “How much does LinkedIn Learning cost?”
Well, the good news is that unlike universities, you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to learn a thing or two.
LinkedIn Learning costs just $29.99 per month, which is a very small investment compared to the job it will help you land. (In a minute, I’ll show you exactly how this is useful for job seekers or anyone who needs to boost their resume).
Also, you CAN cancel during the first month and not pay anything.
Since LinkedIn Learning is free to try, you don’t need to make a commitment in the first month. You can start a free trial and see whether the platform works for you.
After the initial free month, you can start paying if you want to stay on board and continue taking more LinkedIn Learning courses.
You can get a full month by going HERE.
I mentioned earlier that this is particularly useful for job seekers, or someone applying for a promotion/raise.
Basically, anyone who needs to boost their resume and get the attention of a hiring manager.
Here’s why: Employers want to hire (and promote) people who are proactive about improving/learning. People who are motivated and want to succeed.
Why do they love this so much? Because you can’t teach this stuff! People either “have it” or they don’t. So when you show employers you have this trait, it will set you apart from most other job seekers immediately.
If you want to transition into a different field, gaining the basic know-how is essential. You can’t really go to an interview for a marketing position and not know how Facebook Ads work, can you?
So taking an online LinkedIn Learning course on this topic is a great way to start!
And even if you’re not going for a career change, there’s still a lot you can get from LinkedIn Learning courses.
Employers and HR love it when you’re proactive.
Imagine you’re the hiring manager who is comparing two candidates – one is less experienced but spends half of their free time improving themselves. The other has more experience in the field but spends most of their free time binge-watching Netflix.
Which one would you pick if you’re hiring someone for the long term?
Probably the person who’s focused on growing/improving, because they’re going to help your company more and more as time goes on.
Of course, doing all the coursework is useful, but you need a way to let employers know about it.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by including it in your resume.
If you’ve done specific courses for a certain subject or software, you can mention it under your “Skills” section.
Basics of Java Programming – LinkedIn Learning Course; Completed April 2019
If, on the other hand, you’ve completed an entire learning path, that can even go to the “Education” section. And yes – it does count as actual education.
Other than that, you can also mention your experience with self-education in the interview itself.
One of the most common questions you’ll get asked is “What have you been doing lately to keep your skills up-to-date?”
Well, as you could have guessed, “nothing” isn’t the best answer here.
Do make sure to give more information on this, though.
Don’t just say you’ve done “some online course.” Get into the details – what was the course? What did you learn from it? And how will this allow you to help the employer more in THEIR job?
Imagine… being able to walk into your next performance review and surprise your manager by talking about the online course you completed, and how it will help you perform your job better.
Or imagine going for a promotion or raise, and being able to stand out immediately because you’re the only one of the candidates who took the initiative to complete a relevant LI Learning course.
LinkedIn Learning isn’t just a job search booster; it’s a career booster for any professional who wants to stand out and advance their career faster.
As with any other software, LinkedIn Learning isn’t perfect.
While the platform itself works like a charm, you’ll need to personally put some effort into researching the quality of the courses you’re taking.
Since there are hundreds of lectures available, you need to do a bit of digging to find which one’s the best.
Another issue is that you can’t know how recent a course is.
This is OK for some fields – the “how-to” of writing doesn’t really change much over the years.
With anything to do with technology, though, this might be a problem. You’ll need to make sure that the course you’re taking is recent, otherwise, you might spend hours learning outdated techniques or skills.
The best alternatives to LinkedIn Learning are Skillshare and Udemy. Skillshare offers a similar subscription model where you pay a monthly fee to access all courses on the platform. And Udemy allows you to buy access to individual courses, often at a deep discount and a price below $20. You just need to wait for them to run their extremely common sales/promotions.
I still believe LinkedIn Learning is worth it, but these are still great alternatives to consider and sites that may be better in certain situations.
I’ll explain more below…
Skillshare is similar to LinkedIn learning, offering high-quality courses for a single monthly fee.
In my experience, Skillshare offers a broader range of course topics and sometimes does a better job of delivering high-quality content and material. This depends on the topic, though, and LinkedIn Learning is certainly better for some professional topics like networking, etc.
So your choice will depend on the topic you want to learn, but I recommend at least taking a look at Skillshare before deciding, especially since they offer a free trial.
Udemy is an excellent alternative to LinkedIn learning if you just want to pay for one or two courses. Buying a course on Udemy gives you lifetime access, so you won’t have to keep paying a monthly subscription.
This pricing structure is a key difference between Udemy and Skillshare/LinkedIn Learning, and one I like since most people join these platforms to learn a particular skill, not take hundreds of different courses.
And since Udemy offers a 30-day refund policy, you can always swap courses on a particular topic if you get one that you’re not satisfied with.
So if you’re looking to learn a particular topic, and don’t think you’ll need to take 5, 10, or more courses (which in my opinion, most people don’t need to do) then I highly recommend taking a look at Udemy.
In my opinion, yes – it’s definitely worth it.
As long as you do minor research on your instructors & courses, there are no real drawbacks to the platform.
And you can get started with a free month here.
The skills you’ll end up gaining can be priceless for your personal development, whether it’s a single skill you’re after or a completely new area of knowledge.
And if you play your cards right, what you learn from LinkedIn Learning can even play an essential part in landing your next job!
Biron Clark is a former executive recruiter who has worked individually with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
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